Monterosso al Mare is one of the five villages in Cinque Terre (meaning 'Five Lands'), a coastal area within Liguria. The coastline, the villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cinque Terre is mentioned in documents dating to the 11th century. Monterosso and Vernazza were settled first and the other villages grew later, whilst within the territory of the Republic of Genoa.

Monterosso al Mare is located at the center of a small natural gulf, protected by a small artificial reef. In the west part of the original village, beyond the hill of the Capuchins, it is the village of Fegina, natural expansion and characterized by a relatively modern tourist resort facility compared to the ancient village that is reachable through a tunnel of a few tens of meters.

The town is divided into two distinct parts: the old town and the new town. The two areas are divided by a single tunnel that caters to pedestrians and the very few cars in the town.

The beach at Monterosso runs along most of the coast line and is well used by tourists and locals. The beach is the only extensive sand beach in the Cinque Terre. Monterosso is a small town overrun by tourists in the summer months.

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